Once, The Red Venom Plains were filled with great kingdoms and vast settlements, where the civilized people spread across the world with an unsaturated need for new lands and resources. From the mystical Fairy to the mighty Giant, all manner of creature sought to carve its kingdom in the unsettled lands, making war with their neighbors when their lands were not enough. The deities looked down upon their followers and drove them to war with each other; expansion brought conflict, and conflict brought worship.
Consumed with their petty greed, those in civilized lands were ill prepared when their deities were banished. In their panic, they didn’t notice the beasts of The Red Venom Plains change. They grew hungry for flesh, and they grew hungry for souls. Neither Sword nor Magic, or even forgotten magics of the gods could cure these beasts, or satisfy their compulsion for killing “civilized” creatures of The Land. The Apathetic Plague affected beasts of every size in the region, and soon cities and towns became morgues, and the souls of those killed by these beasts faded beyond the reach of magic.
Kingdoms of The Red Venom Plains became isolated candles in a vast expanse of darkness. To ensure civilization would not fall to rampaging beasts or armies, a network of portals was established at great cost between fourteen cities, and the Order of Tehten was established as its unbiased gatekeepers. These cities grew to become mighty city-states, less powerful than kingdoms but still intensely powerful. Many live outside the cities, and vast hordes of creatures roam the plains unchecked by royal armies. All live in the fear of the Apathetic Plague, as none have been able to control it.
The city-states listed here are where most of the stories in our campaign will take place. Each has its own story and demographic, and this is considered “common knowledge” to anyone that asks about it. It is true that Far’Telor is a conclave of mostly Elves and Brynmir is mostly Dwarves, but the Apathetic Plague has forced every city-state to accept refugees, which have since integrated into its society. You can click each city-state’s name for more information; you’ll find the following for each:
- Proper Name: The city-state’s full and proper name, as it appears on legal documents.
- Ruler:The current ruler(s) of the kingdom or city-state, and their age and race if its worth noting. Those listed may not be the true power of the region, but its whom the citizens of that region believe the ruler is.
- Government: A generally defined listing of the type of government that rules the city-state. It is typically explained further in the Overview section.
- Resources: The trade goods exported, in a general listing. Regions that do not have Foodstuffs listed are still capable of producing food, but not with either enough quantity or quality to trade. Each region has specific trade goods, but the Resource listing is generalized.
- Population: An estimation of how many humanoids live within the city-state proper, and their racial composition. It is entirely possible that a whole community of another race lives within the borders of a city, but it lacks the 3% to get listed on the description.
- Languages: These are the most common languages spoken in the city-state, listed in the order of most popular to least.
- Overview: Simple thoughts about the region; common knowledge that all would know about the city or kingdom.
- History: This is more detailed information that expands on the Overview, which may not be common knowledge to players, but is easily learned by vising a sage or asking a local.
- Rumors: Reasons to find employment as an adventurer in a city- there are always opportunities for those brave enough to venture forth.
[Click a region for more information on it]
Arladon lies to the west of The Red Venom Plains, in a lush and verdant plain just before Wolfpeak Hills. The city is predominantly Human, ruled by a line of princes who sit upon a great sapphire throne. A nearby city of Elves specializes in herbalism and healing arts; Arladonian nobility intermingle freely with the Elves, and entrust their children to be schooled by the Elves. The city is ancient and historic, and its citizens feel insulated from the troubles of The Land.
Brynmir is a large kingdom on the northern edge of the Titan’s Workshop mountain range. Dwarves and Gnomes are its primary inhabitants, and they care for the stone as Elves care for forests. It is as deep as it is wide, with a vast array of tunnels catacombing from its upper reaches to its sunken depths. Portals to the Elemental Planes cap these tunnels at their lowest points. The realm is steeped in tradition and maintains values abandoned by most others during the Great Retreat.
Durgendale was once a vassal city of Kazadaegha, located on the Southern Plains. It gained its independence when the deities were banished. It is a city of laborers and common people, and a city of celebrations. Its citizens often stand up for what they feel is right, and they do what they can to help refugees from outside their borders. The city is mostly Human, but Dwarves, Half-Orcs, Halflings and nearly every other race live within its protection.
Elswear is the southernmost city with a portal, a glorified outpost linked to the major cities. It boasts a wide range of races, and many flee to Elswear to escape their past. There tend to be fewer Apathetic creatures in the lands surrounding Elswear, and many smaller settlements have been established outside of the city’s borders. Elswear is just north of the Thunderpeak Mountains, and many try to stake their claim on its raw materials, risking their very soul for hidden fortunes.
Faldspar is a secluded city in the Smokering Mountains which has not properly adjusted to the Apathetic Plague. Faldspar is both a city of Human nobles, living in walled communities and opulence; and a city of refugees and laborers. Citizens of the lower city are unhappy with their squalor but not willing to challenge those in power as they fear Apathetic Creatures more than taxes. The lower city is a vast mixing pot of all races, and organized crime and cults have started to take root among those too poor to reject them.
Far`Telor is an ancient Elven city nestled within the Hercynian Woods. Its civilization is almost entirely Elf, but they have established wards and outposts for any refugee in need of shelter, allowing other races to exist within their borders. Far`Telor sits upon a portal to the Fairy Realm, and it has a large population of Fey creatures living within under its protection. Spiritualism is more widespread in Far`Telor than most other cities, as they worship many aspects of common animals.
Hellade was once a Dwarven Thanedom on the Bay of Storms. A star fell from the sky and destroyed it, creating a large crater and cavernous ruins. A wide variety of treasure hunters rushed to pillage its ruins, creating a civilization of thieves. Over time, an uneasy truce was formed between the treasure hunters, which grew to become the government of Hellade. The city is mostly inhabited by Dwarves, Humans and Half-Orcs, but all races, including Minotaurs and Lizardfolk can be found among its population. Gladiatorial fighting is the official sport of the Boundary.
Kazadaegha was once the capitol of the largest and most powerful Human kingdom in all The Red Venom Plains. It is still the largest kingdom, but it has been reduced to an overcrowded city-state, with its citizens trying to maintain a semblance of grandeur. The city limits are a fine mix of Humans, Elves, Gnomes and Half-Elves with ties to nobility, and refugees of most races seeking employment and food beneath its towering structures. It is said that even the Rogue’s Guilds within the city are descended from noble bloodlines.
This prosperous city lies upon the shores of the Sea of Black Stars. Its location gives it protection from would-be attackers, and its mystical waters make the city a place of wonder to most. There are no predominant races in Lanthe, and citizenship must be earned (at great cost). Many live on the fringes of its society hoping to one day earn its citizenship. Some live on its fringes to take advantage of these would-be citizens.
This ancient kingdom lies to the Northwest of other cities in The Red Venom Plains, just south of the northern barbarian tribes. Its Human nobility was known for its racial oppression in the past, but the banishment of its deities forced a change in the attitude of its people, and its gates have opened to all races. The traditional population has a corrupted sense of honor and duty, which gives them a pride recognizable to any who have passed through the city. Orthon is a city ripe for change, though many nobles are trying to prevent any change in the status quo.
Sirende is a large and open city-state south of Far`Telor, and a major port on the Sea of Black Stars. It is the primary trading capital east of Kazadaegha, and home to a wide variety of races. It is run by an eclectic council of merchants, nobles and everyday heroes; city pride is strong within its borders, and those willing to work can find a fair wage. The population tends to be younger in Sirende, braver, and possibly more foolhardy than other cities in The Red Venom Plains – but their productivity and willingness to work together have made them prosper.
During the Reign of Madness, Umbaroth was a city of slaves, populated with Humans brought to the world by a tentacled alien race. The banishment of deities forced a rebellion within the city. Umbaroth has managed to survive and prosper in the Apathetic Plague, despite its great distance from other city-states. An insectoid race of creatures known as the Irikrizi shares borders with Umbaroth; the Apathetic Plague has forced these two races to become uneasy allies. Umbaroth has taken an offensive stance against the Plague, organizing and training militias to aid in the resettlement of the world.
Valinde lies on the eastern shore of the Sea of Black Stars. It is a spiraling city of gleaming towers and pronounced benefits for those who have earned them. The kingdom is composed of several linked settlements – a Human city of spiraling arcane towers, a Dwarven city within a caldera, a city of merchants, and an Elven city located on an island. All are ruled by a council of wizards, who do what is needed to help their citizens. Refugees are given a chance to earn their citizenship through a structured system. The city tends to be a more accepting of scholars and nobles, but all are welcome if they are willing to accept their place in society.
Wyndmere is an enclave of art and thinking, North of Faldspar, in the Klihsh Pridelands. Wyndmere is a city where effort is spent not just on life, but on living. It is a very spiritual society (which some compare to a cult), but its passions translate to its defenses when threatened. Its primary inhabitants are Elves and those with Demonic or Angelic blood, and the city is decorated with colored lights and haunting frescoes. Creative refugees of all races have learned to live within the city’s protection, but some find it simply too abstract for daily life.